Study Also Reveals Black Meeting Professionals Have Spending Power But Face Challenges When Booking Events

MMGY Travel Intelligence

KANSAS CITY, MO (November 19, 2020) MMGY Global announced today results from the first phase of The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities report. The study was created by MMGY Travel Intelligence on behalf of Black traveler advocacy organizations to identify the needs, behaviors and sentiment of the Black travel community. It analyzes findings from MMGY Global’s 2019 Shifflet TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/MonitorTM, which surveyed 4,800 Black leisure travelers within the United States, and a 2020 survey of 200 members of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP).

The Black Traveler report shares that Black U.S. leisure travelers spent $109.4 billion on travel in 2019 – the most recent year reflecting normal travel spend prior to COVID-19. This spend was generated by 458.2 million Black U.S. traveler stays1, which represents 13.1% of the U.S. leisure travel market. The report also found that in 2019 Black leisure travelers took an average of three overnight vacations and spent an average of 13.1 nights in paid accommodations. U.S. Black travel parties spent an average of $600 on each overnight leisure stay, with an average stay of 2.5 nights for each trip.

“We have long suspected the amount that U.S. Black travelers spend on leisure travel was undervalued. So it is great to get confirmation through these two reports as a part of The Black Traveler study,” said Black Travel Alliance President Martinique Lewis.“These findings of the U.S. market, as well as additional data from the international report to be published in January, will become our calling card to destination management organizations and travel brands as we work to increase Black representation at all levels of the travel industry.”

The survey of Black meeting professionals showed equally significant numbers, greatly reinforcing the value of Black people in all facets of travel. NCBMP’s meeting professionals plan an average of 7.5 meetings per year and typically spend an average of over $900,000 annually on those meetings. The average spend per meeting is over $120,000, with 57% of planners indicating that they typically plan off-site events for the attendees – translating into further positive economic impact for local communities.

Regardless of this large spend, Black meeting professionals continue to encounter hardships when organizing events for Black groups. Eighty-four percent of meeting planners indicate that some destinations are more welcoming of meetings with a majority of Black attendees than others, and  42% say their attendees have felt unwelcome in a destination in which they’ve attended a meeting in the past. To this end, it is not surprising that word-of-mouth was indicated as the top source of information when considering host destinations. Meeting professionals also relied heavily on a destination’s transparent commitment to diversity, with 77% looking for representation in the destination’s marketing materials as a key indicator of receptivity and 80% analyzing the diverse racial composition of the destination.

“The results of this report are emotional for many of us and validate that the Black meetings and tourism industry matters. To all of those who have fought to warm cold hearts to our community’s importance or cried in the middle of night after your work was overlooked, this report says, WE SEE YOU and WE HEAR YOU,” said National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals Chairman, Jason Dunn.

The final phase of the report is set to be released in January 2021 and will share data from a new survey analyzing the current opinions and attitudes of Black leisure travelers globally. The survey will also delve deeper into the decision-making process for vacation planning and aims to uncover the barriers and experiences that Black leisure travelers encounter across international markets, including the U.S., Canada, UK/Ireland, France and Germany.

“It is vital for travel industry executives to better understand the needs, behaviors and concerns of underrepresented traveler communities. The findings from the report should be a call to action for travel professionals and are an important step in both underscoring the value of Black travelers and identifying solutions to better serve this important travel audience,” said MMGY Global’s CEO, Clayton Reid.

To ensure The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities report appropriately documented the true sentiment of the Black traveler, survey questions were developed with oversight and input from a steering committee of diverse industry experts and through partnerships with travel advocacy organizations, including the Black Travel Alliance (BTA), the NCBMP and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD). In a further commitment to advocacy, MMGY Global and its supporting sponsors, including Choice Hotels International®, Tripadvisor and Virginia Tourism Corporation, have pledged that all net proceeds will be donated back to the three partner organizations – BTA, NABHOOD and NCBMP – as well as several other not-for-profit groups.

Phase I of The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities report is available for purchase at Those who purchase the report now will also receive phase II of the report when it becomes available in January.


About MMGY Global

MMGY Global is the world’s leading integrated global marketing firm specializing in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries. With eight operating brands across the world, the award-winning organization maintains a global communications practice in all marketing channels, serving many of the world’s premier travel and tourism brands. As a company dedicated to the global travel industry, MMGY Global strives to create a connected, inclusive and peaceful world by promoting travel as a cultural bridge of understanding. For more information, visit

About Black Travel Alliance

Black Travel Alliance is a new group of Black travel content creators from across the globe. Our three pillars of the community are alliance, amplification and accountability. As travel authors, bloggers, broadcasters, journalists, photographers, podcasters, social media influencers and vloggers, we unify to amplify. We also aim to provide training and business support to our members, as well as hold destinations and travel brands accountable on the issue of diversity in travel marketing and storytelling. For more information, visit

About National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals

The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP), founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the training needs of Black hospitality professionals, and those that support Black meetings and events. Since its founding, NCBMP has made a significant impact in the hospitality community by advocating for equity and helping members maximize their return on investment.

About National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers

NABHOOD is an organization aimed at increasing the number of African Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels and expanding vendor opportunities and executive-level jobs for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African American community. The key to achieving this is the Annual International African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show. This four-day summit is designed to educate attendees on becoming a hotel owner or investor; share minority investment trends; explore supplier opportunities; find out how to market to minorities; and identify and address diversity issues affecting the industry.

Media Contact:
Glennah Ivey-Walker
MMGY Global

1 Accounts for each city a travel party visits and takes the number of people in the travel party into consideration.